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Muslims and sexuality

The Muslim world is ruled by the Koran and the Sunna. The same happens in relation to pleasure and enjoyment within the heterosexual couple. In the Muslim world, joy and pleasure appear totally linked to the concept of happiness.

Sex in the Koran is common and we can find more than eighty-two references to it. Let’s see an example: “Your women are a field for you. Come, then, to your field as you wish, precede something for yourselves! ‘Fear Allah and know that you will find him! And give good tidings to the believers “ . Paradise is for Muslims their purpose and sex is a way to reach it.

The Muslim law appears over time and it is the ulema and the fuqashas who developed from the middle of the 8th century until the end of the 9th century a series of regulations on sexuality, based on the doctrines of the Koran and the Sunna, marking what is lawful and, what can not be done.


The Muslim woman

The Koran states that men and women are equal, but at the same time also says: “Men are the protectors and providers of women, because Allah has made one of them outweigh the other, and because they spend their property. The right women are devoutly obedient and collected in the absence of their husband, which is what Allah demands of them. “

Islamic Sharia law speaks of complementation, and the differences between the role of women and men, what their rights and obligations are. The Qur’an and the Hadith do not mention that women should be housewives. Women in most Muslim countries have a set of rights regarding marriage, divorce, civil rights, legal status, dress codes and education, based on different interpretations.

The Qur’an presents two visions regarding the role of women. Both speak of the equality of women and men before Allah in regard to their religious duties and place women under the care of men, that is, men are responsible for the maintenance of their wives.

The Koran says: “Men are the providers and protectors of women, because Allah has made one of them outweigh the other, and because they spend their property to support women.”


The Koran explains that men and women are equal in creation and in eternal life after it, but not identical. Sura indicates that men and women have been created from a single soul. A person who precedes another is not superior to the other, and one person is not the derivative of the other. A woman has not been created to serve the purposes of a man, but both have been created for mutual benefit.


Allah created the human being with the need to have a partner who inspires love, affection and contains it in moments of worry and sadness. Marriage is the union between a man and a woman, under the commitment and mutual consent to live together according to the teachings of their faith.

“And among your signs this you have created wives among you so that you find in them peace, and put love and mercy among you. By the way, there are signs in this for those who reflect. “

Customs regarding Muslim marriage vary among different countries. Cultural customs are sometimes implanted in the context of Islam. However, Islamic law allows limited polygamy under certain circumstances.

If we follow Sharia, marriage can never be forced. The first contacts are usually made by the parents and there must be the basic condition of the free consent of the future spouses and this must be respected. The Prophet advised that the choice of the spouses be based on chastity, decency and religiosity.

The marriage contract is agreed between the wali, or guardian, of the bride and groom, not between the groom and the bride. Only a free Muslim can be the wali of the bride. This is a male relative of the bride, preferably his father. Most scholars of Islam argue that if the bride is a virgin, her father or paternal grandfather, they can force the bride to marry even against their express wish.


The Koran considers that love between men and women is a sign of God. Husbands should be good to their wives and wives should be good to their husbands. However, the Koran allows men to beat their wives if they “suspect their loyalty” , although he mentions that, at least in some translations, they should be punished “lightly”.

There has been much debate in the Muslim world for what is meant by “light” punishment There are different positions regarding the strictness of the restrictions imposed by the word “light”.

It is stipulated that men have the right to use the body of their women as a possession, using it as and when the man wishes and the woman’s consent is not subject to discussion. The Qur’an promotes discussion and mutual agreement in family decisions, although the decision of the man is final.


Sexual relations for Muslims are exclusively confined to marriage, that is, to the relationship between wife and husband. Its purpose is to have and raise children and this stimulates the Muslims.

In addition to having children, sexual relations have an important role in the well-being of marriage. Reading the hadeeth, it allows to know about all matters, including those dealing with human sexuality.

The Qur’an and the Hadeeth allude to the nature of sexual relations as a means of achieving mutual satisfaction, rapprochement and compassion between a wife and her husband:
“During the month of fasting it is lawful for you at night to unite with your wives: they are vesture for you and you are for them. “

Muslims are advised to avoid having sex during menstruation, in order to avoid discomfort to women. The purpose of marriage is to create tenderness between two people and satisfy the basic human need of companionship:

“And among his signs is the creation of wives born among you, so that they may serve you as stillness, and to have aroused affection and goodness among you.” Indeed, there are signs in them for people who reflect.

The concept of mutual satisfaction is alluded to in a hadith. Husbands are advised to make love so that the game allows the woman to have an orgasm first. Sexual discontent is considered a legitimate basis for divorce by the wife or husband. Celibacy and monastic life are rejected in the Muslim world, because they clearly contradict the nature of the human being.


There is also the so-called marriage of pleasure, by which a man pays a sum of money to the woman or her family in exchange for a transitory spousal relationship. This is an ancient practice, which has been recovered in Iran in recent times. Those who practice it, are based on the Muslim law of Sharia. This indicates that it is a permitted practice.

Women are not allowed polyandry, while men, as we see, are allowed to have several wives.

Premarital relationships

Pre-marital sex is absolutely forbidden in Islam, it does not matter if it is with a girlfriend or with a prostitute. Premarital sex is adultery. It is an irresponsible sexual behavior for the Islamic doctrine because there is no responsibility in that relationship.

The Koran says, “Avoid fornication: it is dishonesty, bad way … to satisfy the sexual instinct!” Fornication has been severely condemned by both Muhammad and the Imams. In Islam, premarital sex is considered an immoral act against the rights of Allah and against one’s sexual organs. It is a sin punished by the Islamic court.

If a single man and a single woman are found guilty of adultery in an Islamic court, their punishment will be as follows: “Flog the fornicator and the fornicator with one hundred lashes each. Out of respect for Allah’s law, do not use meekness with them, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of believers be a witness to their punishment. “

If a single man or woman commits adultery more than once, then they will be punished with one hundred lashes up to three times. If they are found guilty for a fourth time, then they will be killed. In an extra-marital relationship, their punishment is even more severe, since married people have no excuse, whatever it is, to commit adultery. The Sharia says that married people guilty of adultery should be stoned to death. Therefore, premarital sex is out of all consideration as a means of satisfying sexual desire.


What to do when you can not have sex?

If a Muslim can not marry shortly after puberty, then he or she has two options: temporary abstinence or temporary marriage.

Temporary abstinence

If a person decides, for whatever reason, not to marry soon after he or she physically reaches maturity, then the only way is to adopt temporary abstinence. After strongly recommending the marriage of single people, the Koran says:


“Let those who can not marry observe continence until Allah enriches them with their favor.” 

Temporary marriage

If a person does not marry soon after maturity and finds it difficult to control their sexual desire, then the only way to satisfy sexual desire is temporary marriage.

Following the Islamic laws, marriage is of two types: the permanent and the temporary. According to the Sunni current they say that temporary marriage was allowed in Islam until the first days of the caliphate of ‘Umar ibn al Jattab

The main difference between the two types of marriage is that, in the permanent, Islam clearly defines the rights and obligations between the spouses. For example, it is the husband’s duty to provide for the basic necessities of his wife’s life, and the wife is obligated not to reject sex without any religious or medical reason.


In temporary marriage, Islam has given the respective spouses the right to develop their own rights and expected plans. The husband is not obliged to maintain the wife unless it has been stipulated in the marriage contract. The wife can put as a condition in the marriage contract that there will be no sexual relations. Such conditions are invalid in a permanent marriage but are allowed in temporary marriage.

It is not necessary to stress the temporal nature of marriage. The message of Islam is clear, marriage must be permanent but if it is not possible, then adopt temporary abstinence or then use temporary marriage.

Homosexuality and lesbianism

Sexual relations between members of the same sex, homosexuality and lesbianism, is a way to satisfy sexual instincts.

All monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam share almost verbatim their opposition to such sexual behaviors. This has been clearly condemned in the Bible and in the Koran.

The Qur’an describes the people of Lot as follows:

“And Lot. When he said to his people: Do you commit a dishonesty that no creature has ever committed before? Certainly, by lust, you reach out to men instead of reaching out to women. Yes, you are an immoderate people! “The only thing his people answered was:” Drive them out of the city! They are people who give it to them as pure “And we saved him and his family, except his wife, who was one of those who fell behind, and we rained rain on them: And look how the sinners ended!” .

The Koran considers that homosexuality is a shame, and Allah had to destroy an entire nation for its indecent sexual behavior.


In the Islamic legal system, homosexuality and lesbianism are both crimes punishable against the laws of Allah. In the case of homosexuality, the active party will be whipped a hundred times if she is single and killed if she is married; while the passive part will be killed without attending to his marital status. In the case of lesbianism, sinners will be beaten a hundred times if they are single and stoned to death if they are married.

The Koran and Hadith are very clear about the punishment that the community must impose if a person is found guilty of homosexuality. It is necessary to be condemned that individuals confess or should be accused and seen by four witnesses during the homosexual act. The likelihood of these requirements occurring is very small and most couples who commit unlawful acts are not punished by the community.

It is considered that the consequences of their conduct in this life makes them accountable to Allah on the Day of Judgment. This is the one who judges finally, because they are known by Allah.


Masturbation means in the Muslim world self-stimulation of the sexual organs, until the emission of semen or orgasm is reached.

Masturbation in the form of self-stimulation is prohibited. The Qur’an says: “Blessed are the believers, … who guard their private parts, except for their wives …, while those who desire beyond that (in sexual satisfaction), those are those who violate the law.”

Any sexual satisfaction outside of marriage is considered a transgression of Allah’s law. Masturbation is a sin, for which a person can also be punished by the Islamic court. The nature of the punishment is at the discretion of the judge.

Serve as an example that once a person was caught masturbating and was taken to the Imam Ali. He punished him by lashing his hands until they turned red.


Muslims advise against masturbation by strengthening the power of the will. Following his recommendations, this is only possible only if one honestly and sincerely wishes to get rid of this habit. They ask Allah for help, to help them overcome this habit, devoting themselves to the study of religious teachings, and foster the spirit of devotion.

Another formula, that they use, is to stay a long time in the company of other people. If during the day you want to masturbate, get up from your bed or chair and go with other people and talk to them. If it happens during the night, sit in bed, write a letter or read a book. Do something to divert your mind to other things.


Sexual relations in Islam between a woman and a man with whom she is not married is  adultery , and is considered a religious crime. Moral behavior within the Muslim world is labeled a crime against God. However, in the case of rape, the adult man who committed the rape will be severely punished, but the woman who did not consented or who consented in an invalid manner will be considered innocent of adultery and released from any punishment.

According to the Koran, adultery can be punished with up to 100 lashes, although this is not mandatory and the final decision is always the decision of the assigned judge. This punishment can be condoned if the parties repent and commit to amend their behavior. In the Koran there are no references to stoning.

The punishments for fornication and adultery, even though both are considered serious sins, have been valued as something that Islamic law has estimated beyond the reach of what society can punish.


Confession is valid proof, but such confession must be voluntary, and based on legal advice; it must be repeated on four separate occasions, and performed by a healthy person. If it is not true, the accuser will be sentenced for defamation, which carries a penalty of whipping or a prison sentence, and his testimony will be excluded from all future cases dealt with by the Muslim court of justice.

Sexual relations that a Muslim man may have with non-Muslim female slaves are not considered adultery. The principle of religious crime only applies to illegal sex between Muslim men and free Muslim women.

If a man confesses adultery, an eyewitness is not required. However, such a confession can be withdrawn and reinstated the need to have four Muslim male eyewitnesses.

Currently, it is common, that a Muslim woman who makes an accusation of rape is not only denied justice, but is also prosecuted for fornication or adultery.

Sexual relations can obviously take place between any couple, whether they consent or not. Because of the implications of sex outside of marriage, God has forbidden Muslims.

The process, which leads from physical attraction to intimacy, is part of human nature, Muslims are advised to follow certain behavior and avoid those circumstances that could lead to premarital or extra-conjugal sex.

Modesty in dress and behavior between women and men figure prominently as a means of exercising self-control. Likewise, single people are discouraged from spending a lot of time alone in isolated places where they could be prey to their sexual desires.


Some of the negative results of sex outside of marriage include: risk of unwanted pregnancy, transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, breakdown of family and marriage in cases of adultery, and emotional and psychological difficulties that are the result of the lack of commitment inherent in most relationships of this kind. As in other religions, premarital sex is considered illicit.

Muslims believe that God does not prohibit or allow behaviors capriciously, but he does it for our own benefit, moving away from potentially destructive behaviors and situations and approaching those other conducts and situations that allow us to develop our human potential. For a similar reason, Muslims avoid alcohol consumption because of their faith in the wisdom of God, who tells us that the negative effects outweigh the positive effects for the individual and the community in general.



Although Muslims are encouraged to have children, contraceptive methods are not prohibited. The method used during the time of the Prophet was coitus interruptus, a method on which there are several hadiths.

The response of Muhammad, when asked about the legality of such a practice, was that individuals can do whatever they want, but that if God wants a child to be born, he or she will be born. Some thought, that this meant, that preventing pregnancy was not recommended, although this practice is not specifically prohibited. Other hadiths stipulate that the practice of contraception could not be performed without the consent of the wife, as it could affect their sexual satisfaction or their desire to have children.

By analogy, the contraceptive methods that exist today are legal for Muslims, and they can use them at their discretion, therefore any method that does not imply the interruption of pregnancy is lawful.

Imam al-Ghazzali lists several legitimate reasons for family planning, including the following: the financial difficulty, the emotional or psychological worry of having many children and even the maintenance of the beauty and health of the woman herself.

Although sexual relations should be confined to marriage, contraception can be seen as a means of compensating for the difficulties inherent in extramarital relationships.



Islam, like the previous pre-Islamic Arab culture, is favorable to life, and promotes the birth of as many children as a Muslim couple is capable of conceiving. However, under certain circumstances, the Islamic doctrine allows to limit or at least control the reproduction, without being penalized by said act. It is recommended to limit the number of children when a family lacks the necessary resources to maintain them.

The general opinion among Muslims can sometimes be condescending with abortion when a pregnancy is unwanted, especially if their health is threatened or if they have already given birth on numerous occasions. Along with this the Imam Al-Ghazzali (1058-1111), added the clause, “if the woman is afraid for her beauty”.

However, these permissive attitudes are contrary to the teachings of modern Islamic theologians. Abortion is not punishable, provided that the embryo has less than 120 days from its gestation, which is the time in which according to Muslim teachings the pregnancy has progressed too much to allow an abortion.


Abortion makes sense in its relationship with pregnancies that occur in marriage, and not as a solution to the problems that conception can generate in pre or extramarital relationships.

From the earliest times, Muslim jurists considered the practice of abortion legal when there were a number of reasons for doing so, and always within the period between 40 and 120 days after conception. They were based on the interpretation of the Qur’an and Hadith.

Most Muslims today believe that abortion should only be allowed if the mother’s life is in danger as a result of pregnancy. Some also consider that the presence of certain congenital anomalies makes the practice of abortion legal. Also, some scholars consider abortion to be recommendable in pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.

Mutilation of the female genitals

The practice of female circumcision existed prior to the introduction of Islam in Arabia and elsewhere in Africa. This practice severely modifies the sexuality of the woman causing her the impossibility of achieving a complete sexual satisfaction, which is a right of every Muslim.


Therefore, this practice is totally contrary to Islam, because it enters into direct contradiction with the Qur’an and Hadith, where the importance of sexual satisfaction for husband and wife is clearly emphasized.

We must highlight the work of Ibn al-Hajj, who states that “these practices were unknown in the countries of the Maghreb . ” Female genital mutilation “is not an instinctive habit, according to the Malkis; therefore, it was abandoned in the northern and western regions of the country. “

As we see, the differences between the three great monotheistic religions of the world are minimal among themselves.

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